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World in Conflict

Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: VU Games
Developer: Massive Entertainment,

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PC Preview - 'World in Conflict'

by Thomas Wilde on May 2, 2006 @ 2:15 a.m. PDT

World in Conflict features a "what if?" story, where the Cold War didn't exactly end as we know it, and the Soviet Union hadn't collapsed, instead invades the U.S. Resource gathering has been replaced by "tactical aid" credits that you can spend on calling in reinforcements, WiC now also sports a first-person view mode, and is, of course, multiplayer enabled.

Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: Vivendi
Developer: Massive
Release Date: Spring 2007

It may look like another World War II RTS when you see the screenshots, but it isn't. World in Conflict is actually a World War III RTS, set in an alternate universe where the Cold War did not end in 1989.

Instead, it heated up rapidly, culminating in Russia invading the United States via Alaska, forestalling the collapse of their economy by shooting the hell out of people. As a result, the settings of World of Conflict aren't the usual Eastern European/Middle Eastern hellholes; you'll be fighting throughout the U.S., Europe, and Russia, with maps set in small-town suburbs and the city of Seattle.

World of Conflict was described to us as "Counterstrike meets RTS," with WASD controls and a generally high level of intensity. The idea is to make an RTS that's fast, furious, and plays like the last five minutes of any other RTS would, when everyone's got their units built and fortifications assembled, and they're all looking to start something.

The idea, then, is to have a quick, brutal RTS with lots of strategy, but no slow building period; you can acquire new units by buying them, whereupon they'll be air-dropped onto the field.

Emphasis is also placed upon ease of use; World of Conflict is a fast-paced game, so it's meant to be uniquely suited for pick-up-and-play. You can join a multiplayer game at any time, get your game on, and get right back out. The lead developer is a veteran of many big FPSes, such as Quake II, and is looking to bring that sort of gameplay into a new genre.

When you start off, you can select a faction and a role to play: support, armor, infantry, or air. As you might expect from that, World of Conflict's focused mostly on team-based multiplayer. Data from the upcoming multiplayer test will be used to inform the single-player campaign.

As for the onscreen action itself, it's … the word I want to use, even though it's perilously close to being a pun, is "explosive." Everything is destructible, from buildings to forests, and you've got a lot of 1990s-style firepower with which to make it happen.

This includes tactical nukes.

Hell, yes.

World of Conflict will be playable in a four-on-four setup at E3, so we should have more information on it once we're there. Unfortunately, we managed to check out the game last of all when we were at Vivendi's show in San Francisco last week, which means we didn't get the full experience. Rest assured, we'll make up the lack.


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